Moving McAllister Movie Review

 

 

Has there ever been a road trip in the history of movies that didn't culminate in some form of crazy hijinks, becoming completely derailed before ending with at least one pair of people falling in love?

You'd have to be awfully new to movie going to be surprised by any of the plot points in Moving McAllister, a pleasant, though completely by-the-numbers, rom-trip (to coin a phrase). Rick (Ben Gourley) is about to take the Bar exam, but he's so eager to please his new boss (Rutger Hauer) that he accepts an assignment to drive from Miami to L.A. with the boss's niece Michelle (Mila Kunis), who's moving to Hollywood to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress. Naturally, they'll be driving a rundown moving truck and carting Michelle's pet pig, too. Because that's where the cuteness is.

As expected, a variety of obstacles totally unexpectedly emerge for them to face. The truck breaks down. The phone goes dead. A hitchhiker (Jon Heder) gets Rick into a fight. The truck gets stolen. Rick's clothes are burned by rowdy kids. Detours galore are on tap, though, thanks mostly to the flighty Michelle, who takes them into the great white north as a "surprise" for Rick so he can see his parents. And his dad thinks he can turn invisible!

It's all so cute and quaint and if this movie didn't arrive on DVD once every two months I'd probably declare it fresh and fun. But now I feel like I've been down this road so much, that not even the one-two punch of Rutger Hauer and a pink little pig can make me crack much more than a mildly bemused smirk. It may be just the thing for date night when you aren't really paying attention to the movie... but you'll find funnier comedies on your rental shelf, even ones that involve a road trip.

 

Mila Kunis as Michelle, Jon Heder as Orlie and Ben Gourley

Mila Kunis as Michelle and Ben Gourley as Rick

Ben Gourley  as Rick

Mila Kunis as Michelle and Ben Gourley as Rick

 

A film review by Christopher Null - Copyright © 2008 Filmcritic.com

 

 

All but devoid of acting, ideas or laughs, "Moving McAllister" barely even qualifies as a movie.

There's so little to it that it's kind of a miracle anything actually stuck onto the film emulsion. Yet unfold along it does for 93 unimaginative minutes.

Ben Gourley, who also wrote the script, plays a Miami law firm intern named Rick.

His utter lack of personality and backbone convinces high-powered senior partner McAllister (Rutger Hauer) that Rick's the perfect, unthreatening schlub to drive his beloved but "wild" niece, Michelle ("That '70s Show's" Mila Kunis) from Savannah to L.A.

Rick's bar exam is in four days, but of course he can't say no.

Apart from occasionally filling Rick up with mood-altering pharmaceuticals, Michelle's wildness is mainly confined to owning a flatulent pet pig and wanting to take side trips to the beach.

Further mad craziness is provided by a spacey hitchhiker played by - stroke of casting genius - Jon Heder. The rattletrap truck McAllister rented for them breaks down, runs out of gas, gets stolen, etc.

Oh, and Rick has a fat, sex-obsessed slacker buddy (Hubbel Palmer).

When was the last time you saw one of those? Since last month, I mean.

Anyway, if I'm ruining a major plot point by noting that complete polar opposites Rick and Michelle end up mutually attracted well, I just can't help you.

Some of director Andrew Black (the Mormon "Pride

and Prejudice" update) and Gourley's more ambitious gambits include vomiting in a hot tub, dreams involving astronaut and gorilla suits, and a bit that they readily admit was inspired by "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (but, quizzically, not as good).

Beyond tedium, somebody thinks they're invisible, a back pimple gag leads to gay panic, there's a climactic run through an airport, and many other clichés that were first recorded around 300 B.C. pad out the rest of "Moving McAllister's" running time.

 

BY BOB STRAUSS
FILM CRITIC